Questions May Flag Post-op Complications

PHILADELPHIA, Oct. 21 (UPI) — Eight questions that need only a yes or no answer can help signal those at risk for complications after surgery, U.S. researchers say.

Researchers at the Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia found the STOP-BANG — Snoring, Tiredness during daytime, Observed apnea, high blood Pressure, Body mass index, Age, Neck circumference and Gender — questionnaire helped assess apnea risk and signal patients at increased risk of heart, lung and other complications following elective surgery.

The study of 135 patients undergoing elective surgery found 41.5 percent of patients with high scores on STOP-BANG.

Patients with higher scores on STOP-BANG had increased rates of postoperative complications — 19.6 percent versus 1.3 percent — and longer hospital stays, 3.6 days versus 2.1 days, compared with patients who had lower scores.

“The high rate of postoperative complications in patients with obstructive sleep apnea syndrome may be owing to a variety of reasons,” Dr.Tajender Vasu, the study leader, and colleagues say in a statement.

“Central nervous system suppression owing to anesthesia, sedation and analgesia — pain relief — can foment sleep-disordered breathing and further asphyxia-related — severely deficient supply of oxygen to the body that arises from being unable to breathe normally — complications.”

The study was published in the journal Archives of Otolaryngology — Head & Neck Surgery.

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